The Bengals are likely to have a new coach for the first time in 15 years next season, but not necessarily a new face.
Cincinnati remains hopeful it can hire Browns coach Hue Jackson or Washington coach Jay Gruden, according to Pro Football Talk, which cites “talk in league circles.”
It’s been widely reported since the initial hints that Marvin Lewis was out as coach that the team would be interested in familiar candidates. Both Jackson and Gruden had some success with quarterback Andy Dalton.
There are few signs that Gruden is out the way out in Washington. The Redskins are 7-8 sitting third place in the NFC East. With quarterback Kirk Cousins a free agent, the franchise could enter a transition period.
Jackson, meanwhile, has been a disaster in Cleveland. He’s won one game in two seasons and likely concludes 2017 winless. Despite that, the team said he will keep his job.
The Bengals’ interest makes sense based on his past with Dalton, but it’s certainly not a hire that’d be made on recent merit.
The Bengals appear to still be committed to Dalton, for better or worse. Their next hire will make or break the rest of his career.